Due mainly to a lack of knowledge about most of Africa, scholars in America and elsewhere for past century focused on West African cultures that afforded a historic literature etched in the language and culture that included both music, stories/tales that matter.
Also, Ghana was led by educated men like Kwame N'Krumah who welcomed scholars from America, Canada, Great Britain and many other countries including Pan-Africans living in the African Diaspora.
Post colonial visitors saw enlightenments not seen in famed Tarzan and the Apes movies; ... and magazines featuring images of heathens for certain in the mind of media producers who also knew little else about men like the American revolutionary Paul Kofi.
Dr. deGraft Johnson (image on above right) gives us great insight of the past in his book "African Glory." It is a source for many more theater productions waiting to be written about Kings and Queens, as did Shakespeare, perhaps.
One of the most studied cultures are the Akans because of the rich heritage expressed in their Twi language dating back to at least the ancient Ghana Empire for which the modern Republic of Ghana is named. And, therein is thus a literature at least as old as the English language in era of Shakespeare. Slave trade dialects such as Swahili and Pig Latin are not languages because therein is no literature, though used by many.
Men like Dr. Aggrey of Ghana continued the rich tradition of African learning and traveling abroad to London for sure and most other far away places like Cairo and New York City, earning academic degrees here and there to add into their resumes as world class scholars.
The African-American, Caribbean and Brazilian love affairs with Ghana and other modern nations in West Africa are of particular importance to scholars and hopefully writers in literary research and productions that afford youth and elderly a better understanding of themselves.
But new playwrights need their own community theaters (churches for upward bound youth?); not Broadway and Hollywood stages for dance and other cultural dynamics with no lessons learned or taught to new generations. Themes and loglines matter in what youth consume.
Feeding their fertile minds with praised and glorified heathenism does not generate but rather degenerates attitudes and behaviors, including majority society patrons of the arts. The plight of heathenism is however a functional matter for gifted and talented to consider.
Are people of African heritage faith mentally capable of idealistic dreams? Or always fenced into crazy scenarios like August Wilson characterizations that portrays what to who about ghetto attitudes and behaviors? Baseball?
Gifted but not formally educated he imagined based on the small corner of ghetto life he saw and heard; and stereotyped as African-American heritage. His observations were based on color and sex in the Lower Hill District with 30,000 African-Americans who hustled for a living by menial jobs, driving jitneys (illegal cabs) and writing policy numbers for a lucky few. Even so, it was the dynamic hub of some 500,000 African Americans in the Greater Pittsburgh area.
His observations and writing were not the Upper Hill District where upwards of 20,000 more Black folks owned their own homes and performed labors Pittsburgh was world renown for, like making steel.
So far as evidence suggests, he did not know or embrace stories about the kinds of Black men who worked in the mills and mines or on the railway lines laying track or working the sleeping cars. He was unaware for sure about those enterprising men with deliveries of the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper to over 400,000 nationwide subscribers. His view of women, living day to day, were not the types he would ever dare embrace and marry.
But, August Wilson also was an honorable man; and his view of African-Americans in Pittsburgh was to enlighten others as to their denigrations not to kill but perhaps, maybe to heal. He was an honorable man, a distinguished playwright and self-taught historian with many awards by people who glorified his works as great wonders.
And, to add insult to injury, a lot of patrons of theatre productions imagined that he was knowledgeable about Africa having never been there; but, read several books and claimed to know things others did not. And, in the valley of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, and praised for his tales about wondrous people none have ever seen or ever will. But, August Wilson was an honorable man and enriched.
Is that the best there is? What else have writers seen and heard? Any skilled laborers or honorable men and women avoiding tragedy that Broadway audiences expect-applaud in obvious heathen Black lives matters; not overcome in the long climb up.
A relative few men and women in recent past generations helped overcome the heathenism that long ago preceded slave raids and trades by ruthless young men and women induced and seduced by traditional palm wine, but made much worse during 17th, 18th and 19th centuries by imported rum and distilled liquors manufactured in Africa and the Americas.
There is little doubt that many youth were found in a drunken stupor when kidnapped and sold to slave castle traders who sold them to ship captains for the horrible middle passage into slavery.
New generation writers ought not imagine that alcohol and drug addiction issues and challenges for people of African heritage began and ended with the African slave trade.
There were and are people involved and much affected by this mental health issue. Selling them as slaves and putting them in jails and prisons has not resolved the issue.
Imagine if you will, hundreds of thousands of young men and women, a distinctive minority always and everywhere, in pursuit of Goodness or nothingness tempted by illusions most often chemically induced. What happens to any location of two or more persons: if one or many in that location are functionally demonized? How is/was such overcome?
The book of Matthew 8:31 offers some literary insight into topics that writers have mused about for two millennium of human life (including 68 generations of functional believers in a Living Christ). Writers and musicians often indirectly tackle these topics beyond preachers, psychiatrists and psychologists.
Urban fiction novelists begin with imagined degenerations that heroically become generations of goodness in their final heathen chapters. A better enlightened and educated class of new generation [68th Generation] writers and artists are needed to help offset degenerate damages during past 40 years by many souls of a slave heritage; but not the functional faith of believer minorities that freed them.
Like the children of Israel, it might take another lost generation in the sands of time (not urban fiction times) to regenerate pursuits of goodness that began with:
A new approach by a new generation of enlightened and educated believers allows for bridging the obvious cause, color and cultural cursing gap with new chapters about who generated what for who in the matter of functional faith some youth are likely curious about.
Whether Black, White or Brown, the question remains how did Goodness come into existence among "the least of us?" with many still viewed by various American Caesars to be undeserving of even lead free water in places like Flint Michigan? It is an excellent example of how ruthless many otherwise perceived Christians can be and have often been effecting genocidal accuracy by both benign neglect and so-called conservative principles.
New generation scholars have challenges of not solely referencing bibles, constitutions and laws by Roman values that reason away philosophy of life afforded by functional faith in Jesus. And, yes Caesar's money still matters most in the minds of most people of Black and White heritage with functional power reasons opposed to empowering "the least of us."
Color or gender coding of oppressors and/or victims very often affords learned reasoning by men and women joined to functional fallacies. New writers are challenged to understand it.
Capitein, Jacobus Elisa Johannes (1717-1747) The Black Past Remembered and Reclaimed (image on right) affords new writers an excellent example of a predecessor scholar to clarence thomas - Bing images and many other notable souls: with studious indoctrination and reasoning not joined to the functional faith that brought "the least of us" up from functional slavery, whether deserving or not.
So, who judges generations in pursuit of Goodness? Artists, writers or "just forget about it?" The new world of digital technologies now offer new generation artists and writers revolutionary opportunities to tell new stories to new viewers and readers being born everyday, and DNA connected to past connections in generations (and degenerations overcome). Artists and writers matter.
Our new approach includes menu on left documenting many 18th-19th-20th century [10 Believer Generations] in pursuit of Goodness that can be documented if writers want to help add newer more functional chapters to the new testament.
Our added focus is on functional motherhood/faith topics that inspired and motivated many of the "the least of us": ... generating new and better generations that overcame adversity such as: denigration, slavery, (mental illness/infirmities) indentured servitude, persecution, lynching, segregation, ignorance, poverty, disease and discrimination in religious functions invoking GOD but denying faiths many professed to believe in.
As with published biblical texts, writers and artists must tell and characterize stories that matter: less such fades away and is forgotten entertainment relative to gospels that functional believers gradually emerged to believe; not make-believe by minstrels. It is amazing indeed to hear so many entertaining modern minstrel songs: essentially spirituals minus gospel of Jesus sang by past generations struggling to not choke and drown in their own tears.
The Mississippi River carried up and downstream more than hapless slaves, cotton, gamblers, and prostitutes but also tall tales by talented minstrels with inherited story-telling such as Akans of West Africa who apparently originated Disney's "Uncle Remus Stories" by writer Joel Chandler Harris.
Telling children stories such as above published in year 1936 was written by a man born in the great Mississippi River Delta who perceived religious faith among "the least of us" living in places like New Orleans to be pretentious and downright humorous.
River boat minstrels both before and after the Civil War were sources of entertainment that inspired many writers and artists along the river and even far away places like New York City immigrants from Europe and the Caribbean who believed what they saw and heard. The most famous of course was Stephen Foster and Al Jolson, in Blackface paint.
Most, if not simply many mass media viewers with their inviolable own cultural dynamics; perceived African-Americans as they were imaged by Hollywood, documented by godless imitators with no abiding beliefs or functional doctrine. Staring actor Rex Ingram (image on right), many countries banned the movie as blasphemous. Black audiences did not dislike it, and most were quite pleased to see portrayals other than found in Tarzan movies which they also patronized.
A even truer story is that many/some ante-bellum slave owners hired non-believer experts to use the bible (minus the gospels) training slaves in being obedient to GOD and their masters on earth. The Broadway play and movie produced by Hollywood reinforced southern evangelical beliefs ie. African-Americans were not brethren in Christ: a constant Ku Klux Klan belief that matters in a nation dominated by philosophy wherein Christ matters to viewers as to what is seen and heard. Mass media activities matter.
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